Soča (pronounced [ˈsoːtʃa] in Slovene) or Isonzo
(pronounced [iˈzontso] in Italian; other names Friulian:
Lusinç, German: Sontig, Latin: Aesontius or Isontius) is a
138-kilometre (86 mi) long river that flows through western
Slovenia (96 kilometres or 60 miles) and northeastern
kilometres or 27 miles).
An Alpine river in character, its source lies in the
Trenta Valley in
Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia, at an elevation of 876
metres (2,874 ft). The river runs past the towns of Bovec,
Kobarid, Tolmin, Kanal ob Soči,
Nova Gorica (where it is crossed by
Solkan Bridge), and Gorizia, entering the
Adriatic Sea close to
the town of Monfalcone. It has a nival-pluvial regime in its upper
course and pluvial-nival in its lower course.
Prior to the First World War, the river formed part of the border
between Kingdom of
Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[citation
needed] During World War I, it was the scene of bitter fighting
between the two countries, culminating in the
Battle of Caporetto
Battle of Caporetto in
2 Major changes in the watershed
4 Significance in World War I
5 See also
7 External links
The river was recorded in antiquity as Aesontius, Sontius, and
Isontius. Later attestations include super Sontium (in 507–11), a
flumine Isontio (1028), in Lisonçum (1261), an die Ysnicz (1401), and
an der Snicz (ca. 1440). The Slovene name
Soča is derived from the
form *Sǫťa, which was borrowed from Latin (and Romance) Sontius. In
turn, this is probably based on the substrate name *Aisontia,
presumably derived from the PIE root *Hei̯s- 'swift, rushing',
referring to a quickly moving river. Another possible origin is the
pre-Romance root *ai̯s- 'water, river'.
Major changes in the watershed
Course of the Soča/Isonzo
The present course of the river is the result of several dramatic
changes that occurred during the past 2,000 years. According to the
Roman historian Strabo, the river named Aesontius, which in Roman
times flowed past
Aquileia to the Adriatic Sea, was essentially the
Natisone and Torre river system.
In 585, a landslide cut off the upper part of the
causing its avulsion and subsequent stream capture by the Bontius
River. The original subterranean discharge of the Bontius into the
Timavo became obstructed, and another avulsion returned the new
watercourse into the bed of the lower Natisone.
During the next centuries the estuary of this new river—the
Soča—moved eastward until it captured the short coastal river
Sdobba, through which the
Soča now discharges into the Adriatic Sea.
The former estuary (of the Aesontius, and the early Soča/Isonzo) in
the newly formed lagoon of Grado became an independent coastal
Due to its emerald-green water, the river is marketed as "The Emerald
Beauty." It is said to be one of the rare rivers in the world that
retain such a colour throughout their length. Giuseppe Ungaretti,
one of the greatest Italian poets, describes the Isonzo in the poem
Soča inspired the poet
Simon Gregorčič to write his best-known
poem Soči (To the Soča), one of the masterpieces of Slovene poetry.
This region served as a location for the 2008
Disney film Chronicles
of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Soča is also well known for its unique trout species Salmo
marmoratus (known as the marble trout), which lives in the upper
course of the crystal-clear river. This species is endangered due to
the introduction of other non-indigenous trout species sometime
between World War I and World War II.
Significance in World War I
River in Italian region.
The valley was the stage of major military operations including the
twelve battles of the Isonzo on the Italian front in World War I
between May 1915 and November 1917, in which over 300,000
Austro-Hungarian and Italian soldiers lost their lives.
The Isonzo campaign comprised the following battles:
First Battle of the Isonzo: 23 June – 7 July 1915
Second Battle of the Isonzo: 18 July – 3 August 1915
Third Battle of the Isonzo : 18 October – 3 November 1915
Fourth Battle of the Isonzo: 10 November – 2 December 1915
Fifth Battle of the Isonzo: 9–17 March 1916
Sixth Battle of the Isonzo: 6–17 August 1916
Seventh Battle of the Isonzo: 14–17 September 1916
Eighth Battle of the Isonzo: 10–12 October 1916
Ninth Battle of the Isonzo: 1–4 November 1916
Tenth Battle of the Isonzo: 12 May – 8 June 1917
Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo: 19 August – 12 September 1917
Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo: 24 October – 7 November 1917, also
known as the Battle of Caporetto
Battles of the Isonzo
^ a b "Drainage Basin of the Mediterranean Sea". Second Assessment of
Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters (PDF). United Nations
Economic Commission for Europe. August 2011. p. 159.
^ Richard J.A. Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and
Roman World: Map-By-Map Directory. I. Princeton, NJ and Oxford, UK:
Princeton University Press. p. 273. ISBN 0691049459.
^ a b "Reke, dolge nad 25 km, in njihova padavinska območja" [Rivers,
longer than 25 km, and their catchment areas] (in Slovenian and
English). Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. 2002.
^ Brečko Grubar,, Valentina; Kovačič, Gregor (2010).
"Pokrajinskoekološka oznaka jadranskega povodja v Sloveniji s
poudarkom na kakovosti vodnih virov" [Landscape Ecological
Characterization of the
Adriatic Sea Basin in
Slovenia with an
Emphasis on Water Resource Quality]. Annales. Series historia et
sociologia (in Slovenian). 20 (1): 153–168.
^ Snoj, Marko. 2009. Etimološki slovar slovenskih zemljepisnih imen.
Ljubljana: Modrijan and Založba ZRC, pp. 386–387.
^ Strabo, Geography, Vol. V, Chapter 1
^ Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon. 14th ed., Leipzig, Berlin and
Vienna 1894; Vol. 9, p. 727.
River Whitewater Rafting
^ "Filming locations for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian".
^ "Marble trout (Salmo marmoratus)". Balkan
Trout Restoration Group.
^ FirstWorldWar.Com The Battles of the Isonzo, 1915-17
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Soča.
Log Čezsoški and
Solkan - graphs, in the
following order, of water level, flow and temperature data for the
past 30 days (taken in
Log Čezsoški and
Solkan by ARSO)
The Walks of Peace in the
Soča Region Foundation. The Foundation
preserves, restores and presents the historical and cultural heritage
First World War
First World War in the area of the
Isonzo Front for the study,
tourist and educational purposes. (in Slovene) (in English) (in
Italian) (in German)
Galleries of Soca river in kayak
Awarded "EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence" non traditional
tourist destination 2008
Hydrography of Slovenia
Black Lake in the
Triglav Lakes Valley
Log Koritnica Valley
Triglav Lakes Valley
Canyons and gorges
Coordinates: 45°59′40″N 13°38′29″E / 45.99444°N